Fashion by Anita (Seattle, WA)
"I love doing this because I am artistic and this is my way of being creative. I can't draw, or play any instruments- but I like to think that by modeling and creating these photos this is my art."
Well hello there November! I'm excited to see you and I'm welcoming all the Fall colours and beauty that is in this stunning season!! Even more exciting is that I am celebrating my 2 year anniversary of writing Style Stories and I get to celebrate with this feature! One of my sweetest collaborations with the lovely Model/Fashion Blogger Anita Mwiruki and Photographer Alyssa Wilcox, our American neighbors from Seattle! I have been drooling over photos on both of these women's social media feeds for months and months and when they sent me the photos they shot this Fall, my jaw nearly dropped all the way to the floor. They managed to find my dream shooting location and opening each file from their shoot was like opening a birthday gift! Such a beautiful set of photos showcasing such wonderful talents.
I was so excited to feature Anita this month and learn more about her:
"I was born in Tanzania and moved to the states when I was 4 years old. I have lived in South Carolina, Ohio, and now Seattle. Seattle has been the first place that I call home because it has always felt that way. I have seen my modeling/blogging career grow the most here.
I grew up in a small part of South Carolina, Greenwood, and Rockhill. Not much went on there so I was happy about the move to Ohio- minus the winter part. I plan on moving to Alaska sometime next year, my other half will be stationed there soon! However his family has always been in the Seattle area, and for now at the end of the day we see ourselves back in the rainy city one day.
My goal has always been to work a lot, save up and spend a few months-to a year in New York, California, and Kentucky. Kentucky, weird you think? NO! They have some of the most creative teams there that I have been able to work with."
I hope you enjoy this feature as much as I do, it's perfect to get my vibe right for the Holiday season (that red dress!) thank you so very much to Anita and Alyssa for all their time and effort on this shoot, the results are dramatic, romantic and breath-taking. xoxo
When did you first start modeling?
Junior/Senior year of high school I had a few friends taking photography classes and asked to take photos of me. I also worked for Hollister and did some modeling work with them. That's how it all really started, my passion for fashion began to grow and my love for the industry.
Can you tell us more about modeling, any challenges that you've encountered?
Modeling is not easy, especially depending on the style you are shooting. When I'm on set for an avant-garde shoot I have to become someone I'm not, you have to be fierce. Think of poses, hold weird ones for who knows how long till the photographer gets the shot. I have had 12 hour days at a photo shoot. The end result of seeing the photos is always worth it.
Do you have a favorite place(s) to shoot?
I love Rattlesnake Lake which is where these photos were taken, you have the stumps, forest, water. I come from a very flat place so to have all this nature around is nice. Discovery Park and Volunteer Park would be a close second. They are both very large areas with a lot going on, from empty fields, to forest areas, a beach, and a big ole tower- all in just one park. That's nice because you can look like you're in different places in a shoot but not have to drive all over town.
What makes you passionate about fashion?
You know how they say fashion is a way to express yourself, say who you are without using any words- I really think that's true and I love it. Sometimes I wake up and I want to be a little more casual so I get my best pair of jeans, a nice shirt, and beanie. Other days I go out and I'm feeling a little more upscale so I grab a pencil skirt, button down, jacket and head out the door. I love putting together looks, it's one of the most fun parts of my day.
When did you realize you wanted to start a blog? What have you found to be challenging or unique about blogging?
I kind of always wanted a blog but was never tech savvy enough to know what to do. I started with Wordpress and didn't succeed. Moved on to Format, another fail. Then I tried my hand at Squarespace...twice and the second time it just stuck for me. I love taking photos but I also like telling the story behind the project and designers or team members that I have gotten to work with.
Blogging is oh-so-time-consuming. You don't realize the amount of time you have to spend taking photos to be able to post consistently and then add time to write and create the post for it.
Unique/Challenging: I would defiantly say that it takes times. You seem to catch a lot of people when they're famous and don't think that we all have/had a journey to the top. They didn't all just wake up with thousands and millions of followers. You have to keep posting, use the right hashtags, reach out to brands to collaborate with. Really put yourself out there.
You said in one of your posts that you found what you love to do more than anything in modeling is to “play fake bride” (which I thought was so cute!!) Do you have a dream shoot in bridal that you would love to do one day?
I never knew that bridal/styled wedding shoots was a thing until moving to Seattle when someone asked me to be a fake bride. It was the most amazing thing! Getting to dress up, sort of see what you could look like on that special day! Since that time many people have contacted me about doing styled wedding shoots, I want to focus on that and working with local designers. Those are my two passions now specifically.
I do not have a dream shoot, I sort of go with the flow. Each shoot has been different that I've been a part of and I usually take away one or more things that I would want for my special day.
What changed when you moved from Ohio to Seattle?
There were way more creatives: photographers, makeup, hair, designers to work with. I had a better chance of really getting blogging and modeling off the ground. Fun fact: I don't drive. Seattle has a great public transportation system so that has also made life easier and more shoots possible for me.
I love that when you moved to Seattle that you started to have an appreciation for local shopping and shopping local brands- is there any designers or boutiques you would recommend we check out on our next visit to Seattle?
How did the move from Ohio to Seattle help you shop locally made fashion?
I've never heard so many people support local businesses as much as in the Pacific North West. I had never really even thought about the math behind how big companies make their clothes, how much they pay their employees, and then in turn sell the item. After doing some research local designer prices seem so reasonable. They are actually doing all of this work, in good conditions and it's one of a kind. This isn't to say that I never shop at Forever 21, Zara, Nordstrom etc but I do my best to avoid those places now.
Vancouverites love to visit Seattle, have you found some hidden gems worth suggesting to us?
Oooo...let's see. Rattlesnake for sure! Mt. Rainer in the spring-time is a must see! Honestly I would skip the Space Needle you can see Seattle much better from other places.